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When he began recording the words of a Native speaker 40 years ago, linguist Noel Rude had no idea that his life’s work would form the foundation of the first dictionary for the Umatilla language.

Rude, who died in November of 2021, was one of three linguists who recorded and documented Plateau languages for future generations. Haruo Aoki died in February of this year and Bruce Rigsby “crossed over to the land of light” a month later in March.

Now, the Umatilla, Cayuse and Walla Walla tribes, who together make up the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), are remembering the three men and their contributions.

Those early recordings of Umatilla voices are invaluable, according to Phillip Cash Cash, a member of the Weyíiletpu (Cayuse) and Nuumiipuu (Nez Perce) tribes who has doctorates in linguistics and anthropology from the University of Arizona. READ MOREWil Phinney, Underscore News

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WASHINGTON — Kimberly Jump-CrazyBear held up a self-made “Uphold ICWA” sign across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning.

“I’m just here on behalf of all of you who can’t be here today. To help lend my voice,” she said before the oral arguments for Haaland v. Brackeen began. “Without our children, we don’t have a people anymore.” Jump-CrazyBear is Osage and Oglala Lakota who grew up in Virginia.

While Jump-CrazyBear held up and alternated her sign, a woman across the street at the rally said over the speakers: “If you take our children, you take our identity.”

Jump-CrazyBear was one of the hundreds of Indigenous peoples and allies who showed up in front of the highest court in the land to show their support for the Indian Child Welfare Act. READ MOREJourdan Bennett-Begaye and Pauly Denetclaw, ICT

Pulitzer Prize-winning Indigenous author Louise Erdrich has won the prestigious Berresford Prize — not for her writing but for her contribution to the advancement and care of other artists in society.

Erdrich, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, is being awarded the $50,000 prize from the nonprofit United States Artists for operating Birchbark Books and Native Arts, a store she opened in 2001 that serves as a gathering place for the Indigenous literary and arts community in Minneapolis.

“Artists are supported in quiet, beautiful ways by the efforts of Louise Erdrich,” Judilee Reed, president and chief executive officer of United States Artists said in a statement announcing the award on Thursday, Nov. 10.

“An accomplished artist in her own right, Ms. Erdrich opened Birchbark Books in 2001 with ‘a belief in the power of good writing, the beauty of handmade art, and the strength of Native culture,’” Reed said. “The Minneapolis-based bookstore is a place of celebration and honor for artists, whose work fills the lives of those who visit.” READ MORESandra Hale Schulman, Special to ICT

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Verna Volker began running to improve her fitness after putting her health on the back burner for years in favor of her family and career.

A mother, wife and educator in Minneapolis, Volker started training in 2009 for her first 13.1-mile half-marathon. Since then, her running has been fashioned by the idea to not necessarily go faster – but farther.

Looking for Indigenous connections in the running world, however, Volker, who is Navajo, noticed a lack of Indigenous women runners on social media or in magazines.

So she took the initiative to bridge that gap by creating Native Women Running on Instagram, an online community and presence for Native women to be seen and hold space in a sport where they’ve been historically excluded. READ MOREBen Pryor, Special to ICT

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The Phoenix Suns are unveiling a jersey today that honors the 22 tribal nations of Arizona. ICT’s Patty Talahongva and Max Montour got an exclusive look when the players saw the jerseys for the first time. Check it out.

In October, following the release of FEMA’s first-ever National Tribal Strategy, the agency announced that Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma citizen Kelbie Kennedy will serve as the first ever FEMA National Tribal Affairs Advocate.

A three-day dedication event for the National Native American Veterans Memorial starts Friday. Tribes from across the country will be a part of the Native veterans procession on the National Mall. Rebecca Head Trautmann is the project curator for the memorial and is an assistant curator at National Museum of the American Indian.

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The world’s healthiest, most biodiverse, and most resilient forests are located on protected Indigenous lands. That’s according to a new study that suggests that protecting Indigenous and human rights is not only compatible with climate conservation goals, but key to future efforts.

“The combined positive effects of state legislation and Indigenous presence in protected-Indigenous areas may contribute to maintaining tropical forest integrity,” the authors write in Current Biology. “Understanding management and governance in protected-Indigenous areas can help states to appropriately support community-governed lands.”

Years of research has shown that Indigenous peoples are the world’s best land stewards and a crucial part of protecting biodiversity. Indigenous land contains 80 percent of the world’s remaining biodiversity of which nearly a quarter is managed by Indigenous people. According to a 2020 paper, 47 percent of threatened mammals live on, and are protected by, Indigenous land and management. When Indigenous peoples are given legal and financial support for land management, the results benefit the world. READ MOREJoseph Lee, Grist

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We want your tips, but we also want your feedback. What should we be covering that we’re not? What are we getting wrong? Please let us know. dalton@ictnews.org.

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